Posted by Literary Titan
Pale Face and the Raven by Stacey Dighton is a terrifying murder mystery meets a horror story. It starts with a string of rape cases and murders taking place in the town of Westhampton. Luke Raven, a detective inspector and long-time alcoholic is assigned to the case. Unable to cope with his alcoholism and an inability to form long-lasting connections with other people, he is dragged down by the weight of his own past and present. On the other hand, there is a struggling author, Tony Richards. His life isn’t turning out as he had planned, and his flailing desperation leads him down a dark path. His own sordid past and tattered familial relationships are slowly unraveled throughout the story. It is a race against time and personal struggles as these men and the people in their lives are dragged into the horrific events taking place.
Throughout the novel, I was surprised to find myself sympathetic to the murderer’s motives. Not supportive of them, of course, but Stacey Dighton managed to build his character in a manner such that his motives and actions were entirely believable.
It would seem that the alcoholic detective and struggling author are overdone cliches. But that did not make the story any less compelling. They were well-fleshed out and so human that they managed to escape the common murder mystery tropes. Similarly, all of the other characters were plagued with their own flaws. Addiction, cowardice, dependency, all these traits were laid out realistically.
The interlinking of all the characters added depth and complexity to the narrative, but was myopic at times. It was as if the five to six main characters were the only people who lived in
Westhampton and the other people clearly lacked dimension. Although this aspect did intensify the plot, it turned it into a bit of a guessing game. Sort of like Big Little Lies. However, it was without a doubt a thrilling read, kind of like a Jack Reacher novel but with more interesting characters. Perfect reading for a long weekend.
Pages: 373 | ASIN: B07ZBPFBWK
Posted by Literary Titan
When ER nurse Angie Deacon buys a day of fishing on NH’s Lake Winnipesaukee for her husband’s fiftieth birthday, she has no idea they’ll wind up suspects in the boat owner’s death. Besides his wife Valerie, why would any of the five strangers on board want gruff, insensitive Nolan Little dead?
None of them knew her before today. Or did they?
As police storm the boat, Angie comforts the distraught widow, who quickly becomes the chief suspect. She was seen having an altercation with him earlier that day.
ut then…so did handsome Jamaican Montez Clarke, who by day is a computer geek. He even went so far as to pop Nolan in the nose.
Valerie begs Angie to help find the killer. If she refuses, Val swears she’ll ask Montez’s friend Sonny who is a bit on the shady side.
Will Angie regret her decision to aid Valerie once she learns the woman’s dark secret?
Why did Sonny bring two duffel bags aboard? They don’t appear to contain fishing gear. First they’re at the bow of the boat, then they are gone… And Sonny won’t talk about them.
Untruths aren’t the only cause for alarm as the pieces of the puzzle fall into place, leaving Angie wondering just exactly how her husband fit into the deadly equation… and if she is next on the killer’s list.
Posted in book trailer
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